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A Little Less Talk, A Lot More Action – Florida Style

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Again, we haven’t spoken for weeks.  I’ve been in Florida for Spring Break with my family.  You know, every year we go to watch a few of my sister’s softball games, visit my Godparents, hit the beach, and possibly a park.  Since there’s absolutely no way I could cover everything in detail with just one post, I figured you’d enjoy the pictures more anyway.

We left after Momma FF got home from softball practice around 6pm on Friday night.  The SIXTEEN HOUR car ride was probably the biggest challenge.  Yes, we stopped on the way down to stay overnight in a hotel after driving about 1/2 way.

We slept until Poppa FF felt rested enough to haul us the rest of the way to Florida.   Ate breakfast at the hotel,

Annnddd we were back on the road in no time.

Sunday morning I got up to go for a run, showered, and got ready for the day.   Poppa & Momma FF graciously treated the family to tickets to Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Let the magic begin!  This year, we were super excited to have two special guys with us on our family trip.  JD, my adopted brother, and my amazing fiance, Jarid.

They provided entertainment, laugh, & love throughout the entire trip.

The weather was a bit shaky.  It rained on and off almost the entire day, but it didn’t put a damper on our fun!

We breaked for lunch around noon, pretty much in order to get out of the rain.  The only place we found inside, was a super swanky restaurant.  We had no idea what we were in for when we saw the prices.  Literally, all of the entrees were about $35/person.  When you’ve got six people in your party, that adds up pretty quickly.

I opted for the $15 cobb salad, as did Momma FF & sister FF.  I nixed the cheese, bacon, & eggs and stuck with chopped romaine, turkey, avocado, tomato & chives.  I had never eaten a salad that was so finely minced before!  It was VERY good…just not $15 worth good 😉

Poppa FF & Jarid each got the stuffed chicken.   Not exactly sure of the description.  I think it was stuffed with ham & cheese if I remember correctly?  The portion sizes weren’t impressive for the price, but it’s to be expected, I suppose.  JD got the duck, but I didn’t get a photo.

Regardless of the fact that we were freezing cold and sopping wet, we had a blast perusing the park the rest of the day.

Toy Story

Pirates of the Carribean

Indiana Jones

The set of a special effects action scene

The Wizard of Oz on the Great Movie Ride

The Little Mermaid

Alice in Wonderland costume

I had to!

Beauty & the Beast

Rock N’ Roller Coaster

Star Wars Tours

Jarid in the Tower of Terror

Special effects boat dock set


I was so excited when I found out that there’s a 2nd Tangled movie in the works! Tangled Ever After…cannot wait!  haha.

The Muppets Fountain

My cup of no-sugar-added, fat free vanilla that was free of charge from the sweet vendor in the park! Later on, Poppa & Momma FF treated us all to coffee, too!  It must’ve been a vanilla kind of day because I ordered mine with sugar-free vanilla syrup then, too! 🙂

Wedding Progress.

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Lately, life has consisted of a few categorically different things.

Saturday morning, my brain was feasting on knowledge regarding the study of human disesases caused by bacterias & viruses.

Tuberculosis & leprosy were two that we studied during the last lab.  I’m finding Microbiology to be totally interesting…The problem is, each exam tests us on a HUGE amount of information!  I don’t think it’s physically possible to jam four chapters of the stuff into my brain at once.

After my brain was exhausted from my 8am-1pm class, we went WEDDING dress shopping.

Regardless of what I’ve been told about dress shopping, planning, and all that comes with the goodness of weddings, the process has not been nearly as stressful as it has been fun.

Granted, I probably have the most amazing group of girls in my bridal party…all cousins except one…

Wanna meet ’em?  Well, above you’ve got my cousins, Brooke & Brandi (my matron of honor).  They’re sisters, and since I was old enough to walk, Brandi & I were inseperable.  Maybe you remember my mentioning her a few times in the past? 🙂

Then, there’s my cousin Allison, who couldn’t join us for shopping, since she was away at college…

and Abbie, who couldn’t attend the shopping outting either, but sent me a very sweet text message the morning of, letting me know she was thinking of me 🙂

Then, of course both my younger sisters Myranda & Morgan will be in the wedding.

And last, but certainly not least, my lovely friend from high school & “little sister” from my h.s. basketball team, Lyndsie.  She frequently comments on the blog and I love her dearly 😉

The day was filled with excitement and although David’s Bridal, where we had an appointment after my Saturday class, was absolutely packed full of girls trying on prom & bridal gowns, we made the most of our experience.

I not only have picked out my bridesmaids dresses, but I found my dream dress *teaser above*, which I knew was the one, almost immediately.

After the shopping, we headed to Atlanta Bread Company for a nice little lunch together.

 So far, here’s what all I’ve got taken care of… the DJ, the church, the reception, the catering, the pastor, the cake baker, the florist, & the photographer.

As far as invitations & save the dates, I’m not sure where to go?  Any suggestions from experienced brides out there?  I’m thinking possibly Costco?  Here’s a little creation that I’ve thrown together on their site…the prices are VERY reasonable if you ask me!


Much love to you all!  I’ll apologize in advance for the lack of commenting over the next few days…life as I know it revolves around my 8-4 job, my college courseload, and my amazing fiance who deals with the chaos on a daily basis ❤


Naked Hands.

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First off, thank you all for the incredible amount of congratulations on Jarid & my engagement! 🙂

We are eccstatic and cannot wait to start the rest of our lives together.  For now, my hands are feeling naked, though.

Not only have I neglected to paint my nails for the past week, but I had to send my ring back to be resized. It was a 7 and I need a 5, unfortunately.  Hopefully, I’ll have it back before I know it!

In other news, we are proud to announce that we have officially named Bowman as our ring bearer.  Check out those baby blues!  They get me everytime.  His Momma, Bran, and my childhood BFF (cousin) & matron of honor, has already been a great deal of help with wedding planning.  We are totally going to pump this event out in six months.

I got an awesome email the other day from Kashi, and I really wanted to share it.

I love it when companies make it SO easy to help out people in need.  Seriously, please go “like” their page.  Starving kids will be benefitting from something SO simple that you can do in less than 30 seconds.

Speaking of starving…you’d think I was when I downed this plate of salad topped with roasted vegetables.

Butterleaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red peppers, roasted kale, roasted parsnips, with light ragu for dippage.

I offered some to my fiance, but he was busy with his noodles & grilled cheese, courtesy of Momma FF.

To play a little catch up, I’ll show you these beautiful flowers that Jarid sent to my workplace for Valentine’s Day. 

He ALSO gave me a Freckled Foodie customized apron, a memory book that he made, & energy truffles! 🙂  That guy is amazing, I’ll tell ya.

For HIS Valentine’s gift, I made him a scrapbook, too, and had ordered him a pair of awesome looking Sperry’s that he picked out while we were shopping together one time.

Mens Sperry Top-Sider Bahama Casual Shoe - Black


along with baking him this No Sugar Added Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake Mix, which Sans Sucre sent me for review.  For the record, when it was done baking, I totally sampled it…DELICIOUS! (Official review coming soon!)

The directions say that you need water & oil, but I subbed 2 tbsp. of canned pumpkin for the oil and added red food dye to turn it a nice hot pink color…much more festive.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I actually baked it in cake form and then used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make individual little cakes 🙂  They were pretty cute if I say so myself.

Oh yeah, and he LOVES Nebraska (college football), so I snagged him this tee from American Eagle online.

Valentine’s Day was on a Tuesday, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating…after my basketball practice from 3:30-5:30pm, he met me at school (I used the locker room showers – yuck!), we went to the Pita Pit, got dinner for $7 (it was $3 pita Tuesday!), and he took me to see The Vow.


I have wanted to see it since the first time I saw a preview.  Nicholas Sparks is a genius, amen?  I think I almost cried approximately 5 different times throughout the movie.  LOVE Rachel McAdams.


There’s another NS movie in the works that we saw a preview for, too, which I’m excited about called “The Lucky One” with Zac Efron, who is also growing on me as an actor.

Anywho, how was your Valentine’s Day?


Love & Basketball.

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Yesterday was the last regular-season home basketball game… 2.7.12…it was also a day that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

A bunch of family members & friends (My Aunt Teena, Momma FF, Momma Snyder, Uncles on my Dad’s side of the family, the surrogates, & co-workers) were in attendance at the game, since they didn’t know if they’d ever get to see me play again.

After coming back into the gym from our half-time locker room talk, the team started shooting around to warm up for the second half of the game.  I headed for the bench, where my water bottle was, to get a quick drink when Jarid made his way to the floor from the bleachers.

He had flowers in his hand, which I assumed were in recognition of my last game…I was wrong.  When he finally got to me, He got down on one knee.  At this point, everything around me completely disappeared and I forgot where I was.  Honestly, the only thing that mattered was he & I.  Not the score, not the team, not the fans.  He said, “Sami Alyssa Cox, you are my best friend and soulmate.  I met you on a basketball court and fell in love with you, now I’m asking you to marry me on a basketball court“… 

I, of course, said YES!

It all happened SO quickly.  But don’t worry, we reinacted it when the game was over.

When we got home from the game, we got some dinner & Poppa FF brought home some bubbly to celebrate!

I can’t wait to start our life together!  We are thinking about aiming for September 15th, 2012 as a wedding date.  What do you think?  Can we pull it off in 6 months? 🙂 

I can’t wait to be Mrs. Snyder ❤


Day Two in Ph[ill]y♥

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SO, where were we?

Oh, yes.  After the excitement from the Sixers game, we went back home to our hotel & passed out.

In my dreams, I could still see the glittery confetti and hear the chants from the crowd for Big Macs, since the Sixers were only a few points away from breaking 100 points.

I woke up around 8am and had already declared it a “rest day” from exercise, regardless of the fact that there was an awesome fitness center at the hotel.  Jarid & I opted for the pool & hot tub instead.


It worked wonders for my sore back & neck muscles due to a physical game of basketball the day before. 

Once back at our room, I jumped in the shower to rid myself of the chlorine scent, while Jarid ordered room service and went downstairs to grab me a yogurt & banana from the Starbie’s.  I brought my own to-go pack of Coach’s Oats, which ended up coming in handy. 

I made a raw oats, Dannon Oikos (not near as good as Stonyfield or Chobani), and banana parfait (total $3.11) while Jarid enjoyed his room service omelette, roasted potatoes, and toast (total$19.00) each with a side of coffee.  I mixed my room Starbie’s with some diet hot chocolate for a cafe mocha.  Mmm.

Then, we were off!

First stop: The Liberty Bell

Second stop: Independance Hall



Third Stop:  The Constitution Center

Next stop: WHOLE FOODS for lunch.  Isn’t he the best?  Patronizing me with trips to WF…  Any other guy would think I’m totally silly for getting excited to go to a grocery store for lunch.  That’s just another reason why he’s not just any other guy 😉

Honest to goodness, it’s probably a great thing that I don’t live closer to one of these…Probably half of my paycheck would end up going to this place.

There’s so much to choose from in the healthy, nutritious department!  I got roasted greenbeans, broccoli, cauliflower, tofu, cucumbers, chickpea salad, more seafood paella, spinach, vegetarian chicken salad, etc.  A little bit of everything was the best option for me 🙂 

Jarid loved their mac n’ cheese & baked goodies!  He also thinks it’s hysterical to act goofy when I’m taking pictures for the blog 😉

It was his brilliant idea to take pictures of my favorites so I could recreate the recipe at home!

Szechwan Noodles ingredients: organic durum whole wheat noodles, carrots, onion, zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, sea salt, & spices.

Paella ingredients: rice, blac beans, tomatoes, grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, roasted garlic, parsley, saffron, green onions, red onions, salt, pepper, paprika 

 After lunch, we stopped over at the Magic Garden, something we had passed the night before, but it was dark and wouldn’t have had time to stop before the game.

They asked for a donation to enter, but we could see a lotof the artwork from the outside, so we checked it out briefly and kept moving. 

The Magic Garden is a folk art environment, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that showcases the work of mosaicist Isaiah Zagar, a man who dedicated most of his life to beautifying the city.

The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering around random shops in the city.  I found a cute Coach wristlet, but I decided I would spend more money in Whole Foods before we left on some groceries I couldn’t get back home instead 🙂

Jarid found an awesome Braves hat for $15 and I encouraged him to get it.  I mean, he looks adorable in it, no?

Soon, 4pm rolled around and we had to be home for a birthday party in my family…I swear, we are constantly running from one thing to the next.  The ride home was super relaxing.  I love riding shotgun with Jarid in the driver’s seat ❤  Can’t wait to do it for the rest of our lives!

Overall, it was another amazing trip…we did have some bloopers, though…

Blooper #1 – Saturday, Jarid drove an hour out of the way to the wrong college and missed the first 1/2 of my game.  Same name, different school.

Blooper #2 – Saturday night, we couldn’t find a parking spot near WF.  We tried parallel parking in a really tight spot & ended up creating a HUGE line of traffic in the middle of an intersection.  The Philly natives were NOT happy with us.  WE tried and tried, but ended up in a $12 parking garage for just 20 minutes.

Blooper #3 – While we were on our way to the game, some toolbag decided he didn’t stop far enough behind the yellow line at a red light.  We were behind him, and he definitely backed into us. 

Blooper #4 – We spent all our cash on dinner & parking (unexpected expense) at WF, not thinking about the fact that it cost $15 just to park at the Wells Fargo Center for the game.  FAIL.

Blooper #5 – After the game, we forgot where we parked and ended up walking the entire circumference around the Fargo Center.

Blooper #6 – On the way back to the hotel after the game, we accidentally went down a one way street, but we didn’t get caught.

Blooper #7 – We did the same thing (see #6) on our way to sight-see the next day…but we did get caught…Jarid thought he was going to get arrested, but thankfully, the cop didn’t even give us a ticket! 

Blooper #8 – Jarid bought a soda that had a screw off top right before we went into the Constitution center.  Needless to say, we had to wait for him to chug it outside, after a little bit of a spill, because drinks weren’t allowed.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t change a thing about our trip.  We were a perfect team, even when the odds were against us 😉

Stay tuned for a bunch of product reviews!


The Many Adventures of Sami & Jarid

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You’ll have to excuse the gritty pictures (they were from a cell phone), but I had to share with you our awesome date from last weekend.

I had some money left on a birthday giftcard from Color Me Mine, and the last time we went, we really enjoyed the relaxation of talking and painting together. 

Jarid is a good sport about trying “girly” things and really loves watching me get creative.  He’s pretty talented himself, actually.

I think he was kind of digging the fact that I mentioned picking up Chipotle, which was in the same plaza as the paint place, for dinner.

Anyway, the selfless person that he is, he decided on painting a vase, that way, “when he buys me flowers, I can use it to hold them“.  Does it get any sweeter than that guy?

I was pretty impressed with the final product!  He was so cute, trying to make sure each of the flowers on the front were perfectly shaped. 

We get to pick them up on Friday night.  I’m excited to see what it looks like after being fired in the kiln!

I painted a bowl (of course, for optimal food photography), since I use bowls and mugs for almost everything I eat.  It’s very rare that I use a plate!  After all, don’t th best foods come in bowl form?  (Oatbran, cereal, salads, roasted veggies, soup, etc.)

See?  Chipotle knows what I’m talking about 😉  I picked a burrito bowl with black beans, corn salsa, fresh tomato salsa, romaine lettuce, and fajita vegetables.  The corn was probably the best part.  It was totally flavorful & sweet. 

Another successful date night!

Stay tuned to see what the glazed items look like POST glazing.  I’m sure they’ll be making an appearance on the blog shortly after 😉



Thirsty Thursday.

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So, to start off Thirsty Thursday, and no, I don’t mean I’m going out binge drinking tonight, I’ll announce a winner…as I sit here and chug my Pepsi Max, shamlessly.  See, I tried to give blood this morning, but after the woman dug around trying to tap into my vein for about 5 minutes, I called it quits.  My reward for the pain?  A zero calorie, artificially sweetened form of caffeine… 46mg per serving, to be exact.  Don’t worry, the rest of the day, I’ll be chugging water at my desk…you know, during the amount of time that I’m not spending running from work to class and back again around 11am.  Yipeeeee

Anyway, the winner of the It Works giveaway is Josie Chow!  Congratulations, Josie!  Please email me at to claim your prize as soon as possible.  I can’t wait for you to be a believer! 

Next?  A few random things that I’ve been up to the past few days. 

#1. The boy and I bought a Living Social coupon to try out some Latin food at Arepa City in Harrisburg.  Unfortunately, they wouldn’t accept our voucher since we ordered it to go…

Jarid picked the Chicken Guisado Arepa slider – “slow cooked chicken breast in tomato sauce” and the Grilled Tenderloin Skewer, but I was a nice girlfriend and also shared the side of black beans that I ordered

to accompany my Ensalada de Palmito – “hearts of palm, avocado & tomato over spring mix with balsamic”.  The black beans were excellent, actually.  When we go back for our “sit in” meal to use up the voucher, I’m getting the SAME thing. 

#2.  I’ve got some new artwork from my little guy in Nicaragua to decorate my cubicle. 

I’m sure you guys know by now that I’m a huge advocate of Compassion International.  I wish I could show off Isaac’s progressing pictures over the years, but I don’t feel it’s right to violate his privacy that way.  He really is adorable and his letters just melt my heart.

#3. Winter break is officially over and Spring 2012 semester has begun.  our team’s first game in the 2nd half of our season, although it was a non-conference game, was a little rough. 

This team from Hagerstown, MD was pretty good, but we could’ve hung with them, had we been on our game.  The first round, we only lost by 6 points.  

Something I’ve found to help me maintain a high energy level throughout the 40 minutes of high intensity cardio of the game, are these FRS low calorie, peach-mango drinks.

Not only do they taste awesome, but they’re made of great ingredients, which is important in my book…for just 25 calories.

Ingredients:  Water, white grape juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, Inulin, Citric Acid, Natural Orange Flavor, Quercetin, Ascorbic Acid, Gum Arabic, locust bean gum, Green Tea Extract, alpha tocopheryl acetate (Vit E), Sucralose, Caffeine, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Natural Lemon Flavor, Beta Carotene (for color), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (B2), B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Practices have been getting increasingly more intense, too, in order to prepare for games.  After all, you play the way you practice, right?    

Yep, it’s a little blurry, but this monitor definitely read 1015 calories burned in 1 hour and 58 minutes.

I’ve been getting some good workouts in at home, too.  Thankfully, the amazing Toshiba Thrive that Jarid got me for Christmas has been coming in handy when I need something to preoccupy me on the elliptical in the basement.

Bruce Almighty, anyone?  I ususally do Insane Abs DVD, bike on the stationary, and then elliptical for the lenghth of either a movie or one of my favorite TV shows (Extreme Makeover Home Edition, One Tree Hill, Biggest Loser).

Or until I feel like that 🙂

#4.  For my Grandma’s birthday, we got family pictures taken and framed.  I never realized that the photography studio at JCPenney, where my cousin works and got a great discount, was such a decent place for pictures.

Not too shabby, right? Jarid was a good sport, held my purse, and made goofy faces at me through the class to ensure a genuine smile 😉

 #5.  I think I’ll be ordering Annie’s Lite Honey Mustard dressing from for the rest of my life…or until the grocery stores in my area start stocking it on shelves.

Speaking of groceries, though… 

Here’s a recent trip and all my findings:

Let’s see what we’ve got here: Sonoma Jacks Light Pepperjack cheese wedges, spaghetti squash, red, yellow, & orange bell peppers, parsnips, pre-cut summer squash & zucchini, frozen vegetables, fat free cottage cheese, unsweet almond milk, bananas, and canned beans

I think the majority of my money spent per month goes toward groceries…what better thing to spend money on than something healthy & nutritious, though, right?

Oh yeah…I mean, other than fun outings with this handsome guy.

He’s usually a total gentleman, though and insists on paying for everything.  Every now and then, I get sneaky and manage to pull out my wallet first 😉  I must say, though…I can always count on him to take good care of me.  This is honestly the happiest I have ever been…and it’s pretty apparent to everyone in my life.

Whether it’s taking over a random photobooth in the mall, going to Wegman’s for an after church lunch & shopping,

or simply a night cuddled up on the couch reading to each other from our daily devotional book.  I feel SO blessed to have him.


Right now, we’re reading, “Love is a verb” by: Gary Chapman.  It’s perfect for everyday, because it’s a series of short stories.  We typically each read one and call it quits for the night, since we’re so busy and want to soak up relaxation time on weeknights.  My cousin & her husband (another Jared), gave it to us for Christmas.

So, here are a few questions for Thursday:

1- What are some GREAT books on your t0-read list? 

2- What’s your favorite “date night” with your significant other?

3- Favorite salad dressing?

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go chug some H20 now…after all, it is Thirsty Thursday 😉



2012 Starts With A Bang

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Before the New Year’s Eve festivities began, I figured I’d get up a little early in order to burn some calories and jump start my day.  I don’t feel awake until I’ve sweat a little bit 😉

Nothing is quite comparable to a basketball practice, because my heart rate gets higher during those than anything else…it’s much more intense than a jog on the treadmill or an interval workout on the elliptical…on the other hand, basketball practices are much tougher on my knees and back than being on the elliptical, too.

After breakfast and a shower, fixed my nails, & got my dress clothes packed up.  Jarid & I hit the road for a wedding in Bethlehem, PA around 10am.  A buddy of his from college, in the military, had to leave for California on January 2nd, and proposed to his girlfriend just two weeks before, asking her to move there with him.  How romantic is that?!  I can’t believe how amazing the wedding was for having planned it in that short amount of time.

The wedding and the reception were held at Blue, which is also a restaurant.  The banquet hall was absolutely beautiful, complete with chandeliers, antique gold trim, and a nice, little, wooden dance floor.

Jarid and I were seated at a couple’s table with the best man and his fiance, who were both exceptionally personable and sweet.  We had a great time socializing at the event and even shared our first dance.

I promised Momma FF I would be home for the NYE celebration with the family, and we ended up making it home by like 7pm. 

Almost immediately, we got changed into comfy clothing.

It’s tradition that just before midnight, everyone gathers in our living room, grabs some already blown up ballons, noisemakers, and confetti poppers, and counts down while watching the ball drop in Time Square on TV. 

We all yell, “ten, nine, eight, seven…” (you get the picture).  You can bet your bottom dollar there was a big kiss at midnight, too 😉

As you can imagine, it left a huge mess for cleaning up, but it was totally worth it to keep tradition. 

At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.  After midnight, the boys go out side & shoot their guns.  We used to have fireworks, but that was before they were illegal.  Soon everyone leaves, and we go to bed.  Within a few hours (aka, noon NYD), everyone is back for pork & saurkraut , or in my case, a big old vegetable roast.

I couldn’t think of a better meal to start the New Year than my favorites: roasted butternut squash and parsnip fries.  I could eat them every single day with either reduced sugar ketchup or light ragu.  Don’t worry, I had a little bit of the white meat pork, some roasted broccoli, too. 

After lunch, the kids have Christmas #2, when my Aunt and Grandma give their gifts to the kids.

As you may remember, there are a TON of kids in our family…it’s always fun to watch them light up as they open gifts. 

2011 had been the best year of my life…but 2012 is looking pretty promising, too.


See anything different about my left hand?

Yep!  I’m engaged!!

Just kidding.

It is a beautiful promise ring, though!

Gotcha! 😉

Here’s to an amazing year!


Twinkling Of An Eye…

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I say it every year, but this year especially, Christmas and New Years seem to have come and gone in the twinkling of an eye.

So quickly, that I hadn’t even had time to do a proper post!  Sooo, let’s relive the memories of Christmas 2011 and New Years for 2012! 🙂

This year, I had my own personal, handsome santa.  He did WAY too much for me this year…I thought I was excited to give him his gifts, but he was just as excited to give me mine.

I’m pretty sure, I got on his “nice list” by taking him out to dinner courtesy of a sweet Living Social deal I got for Theo’s in Camp Hill.   He talked about the fact that he could really go for a good steak one day, so I thought it’d be perfect, especially since he’s always compromising what he likes to eat for my healthy favorites.

Per usual, he surprised me and ordered baby back ribs.  Might I add, he is the CUTEST guy ever?  It takes talent to drink your soda while managing sauce-covered fingers.  That night, we finished up most of our Christmas shopping and had a blast doing it.

Other than a few morning basketball practices, I’ve been sticking with my elliptical workouts for the most part.

More specifically while watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition on hulu, and after having already done the Insane Abs DVD and some stationary biking. 

Not a bad calorie burn if I do say so myself!

After cleaning up, Jarid met me at our house for a trip to Lancaster to spend most of Christmas Eve with my Dad’s side of the family.

This side of the family is where I get my freckles and red hair!  They always make sure I have options for meals, too, which I really appreciate.

I brought a sweet potato to “bake” in the microwave (1/2 for lunch, 1/2 for dinner), some massaged kale (in Lite Gazebo Room dressing), ate some white meat turkey, some salad with chickpeas, canned, sliced beets, and some blanched green beans and corn.  It was a fabulous Christmas meal.

Afterward, we got to work on this gingerbread house

It was really tough, because the 5tbsp. of water that the confectioner’s sugar icing mix called for was WAY too much.  Luckily, Grammie saved the day and had some on hand so we could turn it into more of a paste.  As you can see, the gingerbread house was caught up in quite the snow storm.  The decorations were blown all over the place by the high speed winds! 😉  Not quite as impressive as last year’s

Christmas Day rolled around, and instead of going to church looking like this:

 We went in our PJ’s!  No joke.  It was PJ Sunday, since a lot of families wanted to go to church (after all, Christ is the reason for the season), the church made it possible for them to come and enjoy it in a relaxed, comfortable setting.  It was a double meaning, too because they used it as Praise Jesus Sunday.  Great idea, right?!  They provided coffee, hot cocoa, and tea for us to enjoy in fellowship together.  It was awesome.  Momma Snyder, joined us, too, which made it extra special for me.

We had an amazing first Christmas together…

Stay tuned for the New Year’s post next! 



Ten Things For Tuesday.

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#1.  Christmas is in FIVE, yes, five days.  I’m sure you’re well aware, but I felt the need to announce it.

 This beautiful tree was up at a Christmas party that Jarid & I attended last weekend.  We had a blast playing Catch Phrase, ping pong, and socializing.

#2.  I’m NOT a fan of this crackle nail polish

I tried it out, in hopes of a festive, Christmasy manicure, but unfortunately, the result was more of a graveyard-esque feel.  I bought the Sally Hansen antique gold…not recommended.

#3. If I had to choose one vegetable to eat everyday for the rest of my life, it’d be a toss up between roasted butternut squash & parsnip fries… only if they were acommpanied by a side of Light Ragu, though.

The cooked squash & zucchini that I ate with them were delicious drizzled in Light Gazebo Room dressing, I might add.

#4.  Props to the boyfriend for matching my Christmas dress without even having to coordinate.  He’s even colorblind!  Impressive, no?

We enjoyed the kids’ Christmas play at my parent’s home church this weekend.  I had several cousins in the production and I’m so glad we didn’t miss it!

#5. While at church, this old woman beside us was relentless on trying to get us engaged.  I swear, she was on us like white on rice.

#6. I don’t want to sound like the grinch, but this week is the FIRST I’ve listened to Christmas music and not felt the need to change the station as soon as it came on.  One week of Christmas music per year is plenty for me.

#7. Since #2 was a fail, I’ve been dying to get ahold of some of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Holiday Collection!


I especially like the candy cane striped version!

#8.  I am getting SO excited to give Jarid his gifts.  I would totally spill what I got him on the blog, but sometimes he reads it…and I don’t want to ruin any surprises!

#9.  I just realized I did a whole bunch of veggie roasts this weekend, as per the photographic evidence.

This salad beast was delicious, thinking back.  Roasted beets, roasted broccoli, roasted brussels, roasted shroomies, and roasted squash atop a bed of baby spinach and drizzled with the last of my Annie’s  Lite Honey Mustard dressing.

* Note to self: order more Annie’s from

#10.  Banana Chocolate Chip Vitatops.



Vitalicious sent me a generous sampling package of these and the Pumpkin Spice variety since I hadn’t had the chance to try them!  Typically, I buy the Deep Chocolate and Golden Corn, which are two of my favorites, but these just may take the cake – pun intended. 🙂

I ate mine slightly thawed but still kinda frozen.  It’s totally dessert worthy.  Try them out of the toaster, too, or microwave them in the plastic for about 45 seconds (which locks in the moisture, so they don’t taste dry).

Tomorrow is hump day!  For once, I’m not ready for the week to be over.  There’s far too much to do and too little time to do it!

What’s one thing you’re diggin’ about this Christmas season?  Anything in particular on your wish list?